Pope St. John Paul II Optional Memorial, October 22, Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Pope John Paul II is pictured in an image released March 25 by the postulation of his sainthood cause. The Polish pope, who died April 2, 2005, will be beatified May 1. (CNS photo/Grzegorz Galazka, courtesy of Postulation of Pope John Paul II) (March 28, 2011)
Pope John Paul II is pictured in an image released March 25 by the postulation of his sainthood cause. The Polish pope, who died April 2, 2005, will be beatified May 1. (CNS photo/Grzegorz Galazka, courtesy of Postulation of Pope John Paul II) (March 28, 2011)

POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His elder brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.

He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Cracow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Cracow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the “Rhapsodic Theatre,” also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Cracow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Cracow on November 1, 1946.

Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium, and Holland.

Source: iBreviary – Saint John Paul II


Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II – October 22, 2016 – Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture


Pope Saint John Paul II | CatholicSaints.Info

Robert Cardinal Sarah: Sacrosanctum concilium betrayed when not considering that “Nothing should be preferred to the work of God”

God or Nothing, Cardinal Robert Sarah with Nicolas Diat


Robert Cardinal Sarah
Robert Cardinal Sarah

NICHOLAS DIAT: At the end his pontificate, in 2012, Benedict XVI insisted on celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. Why are there so many divisions over the last Council, even today?

[…]

In order to help us see that everything at the heart of the conciliar documents was centered on and oriented toward God, Benedict XVI invited us to focus our attention on the way in which the are ordered. He says that the architecture of these documents has an essentially theocentric orientation. Let us begin with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum concilium. The fact that it is the first document to be published indicates that there were dogmatic and pastoral reasons of the utmost importance. Before all else, in the Church, there is adoration; and therefore God. This beginning, says Benedict XVI, corresponds to the first and chief concern of the Rule of Saint Benedict: “Nihil operi Dei praeponatur” (Nothing should be preferred to the work of God). Now, if there is one reality too often left out of consideration, it is certainly the consubstantial relation between the liturgy and God. The foundation of the liturgy must remain the search for God. We can only be dismayed by the fact that this intention of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, and of the Council Fathers as well, is often obscured and , worse yet, betrayed…

Pope Francis: “extraordinary” form must not take the place of the “ordinary” one.

Home > Bulletin > Pubblico > 2016 > 07: Holy See Press Office Communiqué: some clarifications on the celebration of Mass, 11.07.2016


Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 11.07.2016


Pope Francis, for his part, on the occasion of his visit to the Dicastery for Divine Worship, expressly mentioned that the “ordinary” form of the celebration of the Mass is that expressed in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the “extraordinary” form, which was permitted by Pope Benedict XVI for the purposes and in the ways explained in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, must not take the place of the “ordinary” one.

What changed from Card. Sarah’s Speech at SACRA LITURGIA UK 2016 to Fr. Lombardi’s communiqué? 😕

Photograph • Robert Cardinal Sarah “Ad Orientem” published 15 July 2016 by Corpus Christi Watershed
Photograph • Robert Cardinal Sarah “Ad Orientem”
published 15 July 2016 by Corpus Christi Watershed

“TOWARDS AN AUTHENTIC IMPLEMENTATION OF SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM” – ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE, ROBERT CARDINAL SARAH PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS TO THE CONFERENCE “SACRA LITURGIA UK 2016” LONDON, ENGLAND, 5 JULY 2016

Indeed, I can say that when I was received in audience by the Holy Father last April, Pope Francis asked me to study the question of a reform of a reform and the way in which the two forms of the Roman rite could enrich each other. This will be a long and delicate work and I ask for your patience and prayers. But if we are to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium more faithfully, if we are to achieve what the Council desired, this is a serious question which must be carefully studied and acted on with the necessary clarity and prudence in prayer and total submission to God.

And

At this point I repeat what I have said elsewhere, that Pope Francis has asked me to continue the extraordinary liturgical work Pope Benedict began (see: Message to Sacra Liturgia USA 2015, New York City). Just because we have a new pope does not mean that his predecessor’s vision is now invalid. On the contrary, as we know, our Holy Father Pope Francis has the greatest respect for the liturgical vision and measures Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI implemented in utter fidelity to the intentions and aims of the Council Fathers.


Father Lombardi added:

There are therefore no new liturgical directives foreseen from next Advent, as some have wrongly inferred from some of the words of Cardinal Sarah, and it is best to avoid using the expression ‘reform of the reform’ when referring to the liturgy, as it’s sometimes been a source of misunderstandings.
– Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/father-lombardi-cardinal-sarahs-ad-orientem-suggestion-misinterpreted/#ixzz4E9pfPKGo


Home > Bulletin > Pubblico > 2016 > 07: Holy See Press Office Communiqué: some clarifications on the celebration of Mass, 11.07.2016




USCCB Committee on Divine Worship

Letter from USCCB Committee on Divine Worship on “Ad Orientem” published 15 July 2016 by Richard J. Clark

Bishop Dominique Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France responds positively to Robert Cardinal Sarah’s call for AD ORIENTEM for the Ordinary Form

Bishop Dominique Marie Jean Rey
Bishop Dominique Marie Jean Rey

Bishop Dominique Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France:
IT IS WITH GREAT JOY that we have learnt today that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked you to commence a study of the reform of the liturgical reform that followed the Council, and to investigate the possibilities of mutual enrichment between the older and newer forms of the Roman rite, first spoken of by Pope Benedict XVI. C’est avec une grande joie que nous avons appris aujourd’hui que le Saint-Père vous a demandé d’initier une étude de la «réforme» de la réforme liturgique qui suivit le Concile, et d’étudier les possibilités d’un enrichissement mutuel entre l’ancienne et la nouvelle forme du rit romain, ce que le pape Benoît XVI avait évoqué le premier.
YOUR EMINENCE, your appeal that we “return as soon as possible to a common orientation” in our liturgical celebrations “Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes,” is an invitation to a radical rediscovery of something that is at the very roots of Christian liturgy. It calls us to realise once again, in all our liturgical celebrations, that Christian liturgy is essentially oriented to Christ whose coming we await in joyful hope. Eminence, votre appel à ce que nous «retournions dès que possible à une orientation commune» dans nos célébrations liturgiques «vers l’Orient ou au moins vers l’abside, là où vient le Seigneur», est une invitation à redécouvrir radicalement quelque chose qui est à la racine même de la liturgie chrétienne. Cela exige de nous de réaliser une fois encore, dans toutes nos célébrations, que la liturgie chrétienne est essentiellement orientée vers le Christ dont nous attendons la venue avec une espérance joyeuse.
YOUR EMINENCE, I am only one bishop of one diocese in the south of France. But in response to your appeal I wish to announce now, that certainly on the last Sunday of Advent of this year in my celebration of the Holy Eucharist at my cathedral, and on other occasions as appropriate, I shall celebrate ad orientem—towards the Lord who comes. Before Advent I shall address a letter to my priests and people on this question to explain my action. I shall encourage them to follow my example. I shall ask them to receive my personal testimony, as the chief pastor of the diocese, in the spirit of one who wishes to call his people to rediscover the primacy of grace in their liturgical celebrations through this practice. I shall explain that this change will help us to recall the essential nature of Christian worship: that it must always be oriented to the Lord. Monsieur le Cardinal, je suis seulement un évêque et ne représente qu’un diocèse du sud de la France. Mais afin de répondre à votre appel, je souhaite dire dès à présent que j’aurai l’occasion de célébrer la sainte messe ad orientem, vers le Seigneur qui vient, dans la cathédrale de Toulon lors du dernier dimanche de l’Avent, et chaque fois que l’occasion opportune se présentera. Avant l’Avent, j’adresserai un message à mes prêtres et aux fidèles à ce sujet pour expliquer ma décision. Je les encouragerai à suivre cet exemple. En tant que chef et pasteur de mon diocèse, je leur demanderai de recevoir mon témoignage personnel, dans l’idée de faire leur faire redécouvrir, par la pratique de la messe orientée, la primauté de la grâce au cours des célébrations. J’expliquerai que ce changement est utile pour se rappeler la nature essentiel du culte chrétien: tout doit être toujours tourné vers le Seigneur.

(My emphasis)

Source: Cardinal Sarah “Reform of the Reform” (5 July 2016) • Full Address in French & English published 7 July 2016 by Corpus Christi Watershed


“TOWARDS AN AUTHENTIC IMPLEMENTATION OF SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM” – ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE, ROBERT CARDINAL SARAH PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS TO THE CONFERENCE “SACRA LITURGIA UK 2016” LONDON, ENGLAND, 5 JULY 2016


Update Monday, July 11, 2016:

Father Lombardi: Cardinal Sarah’s Ad Orientem Suggestion ‘Misinterpreted’ | NCR by Edward Pentin 07/11/2016

Father Lombardi concluded by saying that all of what he had said in his communique “was agreed upon during a recent audience granted by the Pope to the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.”
Cardinal Sarah met the Pope in private audience on Saturday, soon after his return from London.


Cf. Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison by Brian Williams on September 6, 2016 | 1P5


Even if, of course, it cannot be the aim of this short reflection to delineate in some fashion the ministry of the patriarch in its entirety, I would at least like to underline a point that is important for the characterization of this great man of the Church of God: his love for creation and his advocacy that it be dealt with in accordance with this love, in matters big and small. A shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ is never oriented merely to the circle of his own faithful. The community of the Church is universal also in the sense that it includes all of reality. That becomes evident, for example, in the liturgy, which signifies not only the commemoration and realization of the saving deeds of Jesus Christ. It is on the way toward the redemption of all creation. In the liturgy’s orientation to the East, we see that Christians, together with the Lord, want to progress toward the salvation of creation in its entirety. Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, is at the same time also the “sun” that illumines the world. Faith is also always directed toward the totality of creation. Therefore, Patriarch Bartholomew fulfills an essential aspect of his priestly mission precisely with his commitment to creation. – Travel companions · A reflection of Benedict XVI · Oct. 12, 2016 | L’Osservatore Romano (My emphasis)


Diocesan News > Ad orientem Masses encouraged during Advent, Wednesday, 23 November 2016, Story by S.L. Hansen | Southern Nebraska Register

Cardinal Sarah’s AD ORIENTAM call – In his own words.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
Robert Cardinal Sarah

“TOWARDS AN AUTHENTIC IMPLEMENTATION OF SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM” – ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE, ROBERT CARDINAL SARAH PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS TO THE CONFERENCE “SACRA LITURGIA UK 2016” LONDON, ENGLAND, 5 JULY 2016

I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chrétienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God. This practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre.

And so, dear Fathers, I humbly and fraternally ask you to implement this practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people. Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’ (see: Introit, Mass of Wednesday of the first week of Advent) may be a very good time to do this. Dear Fathers, we should listen again to the lament of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their backs to me and not their faces” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord! Since the day of his Baptism, the Christian knows only one direction: the Orient. “You entered to confront your enemy, for you intended to renounce him to his face. You turned toward the East (ad Orientem), for one who renounces the devil turns towards Christ and fixes his gaze directly on Him” (From the beginning of the Treatise on the Mysteries by Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan).


Cf. Cardinal Sarah emphasizes importance of silence, ad orientem celebration, October 04, 2016 | Catholic Culture

Renewing his invitation to priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem, accompanied by catechesis, he said:

This way of doing things promotes silence. Indeed, there is less of a temptation for the celebrant to monopolize the conversation. Facing the Lord, he is less tempted to become a professor who gives a lecture during the whole Mass, reducing the altar to a podium centered no longer on the cross but on the microphone! The priest must remember that he is only an instrument in Christ’s hands, that he must be quiet in order to make room for the Word, and that our human words are ridiculous compared to the one Eternal Word.

I am convinced that priests do not use the same tone of voice when they celebrate facing East. We are so much less tempted to take ourselves for actors, as Pope Francis says!


Cf. The Reform of the Reform “Will Happen.” The Pope Wants It, Too, ROME, by Sandro Magister, October 6, 2016 | WWW.CHIESA

“GOD WILLING, THE REFORM OF THE REFORM WILL TAKE PLACE” (par. 257)

I refuse to waste time in opposing one liturgy to another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. What is needed is to enter into the great silence of the liturgy; one must allow oneself to be enriched by all the Latin or Eastern liturgical forms that favor silence. Without this contemplative silence, the liturgy will remain an occasion of hateful divisions and ideological confrontations instead of being the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. It is high time to enter into this liturgical silence, facing the Lord, that the Council wanted to restore.

What I am about to say now does not enter into contradiction with my submission and obedience to the supreme authority of the Church. I desire profoundly and humbly to serve God, the Church, and the Holy Father, with devotion, sincerity, and filial attachment. But this is my hope: if God wills, when he may will and how he may will, in the liturgy, the reform of the reform will take place. In spite of the gnashing of teeth, it will take place, because the future of the Church is at stake.

Damaging the liturgy means damaging our relationship with God and the concrete expression of our Christian faith. The Word of God and the doctrinal teaching of the Church are still listened to, but the souls that want to turn to God, to offer him the true sacrifice of praise and worship him, are no longer captivated by liturgies that are too horizontal, anthropocentric, and festive, often resembling noisy and vulgar cultural events. The media have completely invaded and turned into a spectacle the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the memorial of the death of Jesus on the cross for the salvation of our souls. The sense of mystery disappears through changes, through permanent adaptations, decided in autonomous and individual fashion in order to seduce our modern profaning mentalities, marked by sin, secularism, relativism, and the rejection of God.

In many western countries, we see the poor leaving the Catholic Church because it is under siege by ill-intentioned persons who style themselves intellectuals and despise the lowly and the poor. This is what the Holy Father must denounce loud and clear. Because a Church without the poor is no longer the Church, but a mere “club.” Today, in the West, how many temples are empty, closed, destroyed, or turned into profane structures in disdain of their sacredness and their original purpose. So I know how many priests and faithful there are who live their faith with extraordinary zeal and fight every day to preserve and enrich the dwellings of God.

(My emphasis)




Cf. Franziskus gegen ‘Reform der Reform’ bei der Liturgie


Cf. HINTERGRUND > Kardinal Robert Sarah – Vom Papst berufen und zugleich isoliert

Very Apt Prayers and Readings in the Liturgy of the Solemnity of PETER AND PAUL June 29 Mass During the Day

PETER AND PAUL Solemnity June 29 Mass During the Day

COLLECT
O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul
give us the noble and holy joy of this day,
grant, we pray, that your Church
may in all things follow the teaching
of those through whom she received
the beginnings of right religion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

FIRST READING Acts 12:1-11
In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.
[…]
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps. 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

SECOND READING 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.

From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

ALLELUIA Matt. 16:18
Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non prevalebunt adversus eam.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail again it.

GOSPEL Mt 16:13-19
[…]
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

PREFACE The twofold mission of Peter and Paul in the Church
[…]

For by your providence
the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy:
Peter, foremost in confessing the faith,
Paul, its outstanding preacher,
Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel,
Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Grant us, O Lord,
who have been renewed by this Sacrament,
so to live in the Church,
that, persevering in the breaking of the Bread
and in the teaching of the Apostles,
we may be one heart and one soul,
made steadfast in your love.
Through Christ our Lord.

SOLEMN BLESSING
May almighty God bless you,
for he has made you steadfast in Saint Peter’s saving confession
and through it has set you on the solid rock of the Church’s faith.
R. Amen.

And having instructed you
by the tireless preaching of Saint Paul,
may God teach you constantly by his example
to win brothers and sisters for Christ.
R. Amen.

[…]

In the Advent of #AmorisLaetitia, Providential and Apt Third Sunday of Easter Readings (OF)

Awe inspring, amazing, providential and apt Third Sunday of Easter Readings (OF) that contain counsels, encouragement, consolations, and warnings.

Thanks be to God!

I recall leading up to and during the Synod on the Family in 2015, some sharp minds noticed this as well.

Even though the LORD appears asleep, he is telling us not be afraid, he is in charge.

In the Advent of Amoris Laetitia, the providential and apt Third Sunday of Easter Readings (OF):

FIRST READING Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41

To those saying we must assent to Pope Francis’ Exhortation and his novel [as characterized by Card. Schönborn & Fr. Lombardi] teaching, the first Pope, St. Peter gives us the response we are to give, ‘we must obey God rather than men.’ And if we are made to suffer doing so, ‘we are to rejoice for having been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.’

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

The whole Psalm is just beautiful and self-explanatory:

Exaltabo te, Domine, quoniam extravisti me.

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. or: R. Alleluia.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. or: R. Alleluia.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. or: R. Alleluia.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. or: R. Alleluia.

SECOND READING Revelation 5:11-14

Even our enemies [every creature … on earth and under the earth and in the sea] will also cry out: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.”

The nations have sunk into a pit of their own making,
they are caught by the feet in the snare they set them selves
The LORD has made himself known, has given judgement, he has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands. – Ps 9:15-16

GOSPEL (Long Form) John 21:1-19

1) An examination of conscience [the irony] for Pope Francis:

Jesus:

“Pope Francis, do you love me more than these?” If yes, then “Feed my lambs.”

“Pope Francis, do you love me?” If yes, then “Tend my sheep.”

“Pope Francis, do you love me?” If yes, then “Feed my sheep.”

2) And the net is full with 153 large fish and it does not break: despite the defectors, the number of the elect is full [we have to pray to be counted among them] and united in single doctrine. [Cf. St. Augustine, Commentary on St. John and St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on St. Matthew, 48]

SAINT CHARLES LWANGA, MARTYR, AND HIS COMPANIONS MARTYRS

St. Charles Lwanga

SAINT CHARLES LWANGA, MARTYR, AND HIS COMPANIONS MARTYRS

Charles was one of 22 Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. Though he was baptized the night before being put to death, he became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as “the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda.” He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the [Bagandan] ruler, Mwanga.

Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?

When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly so death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, “Kotanda! (O my God!).” He was burned to death by Mwanga’s order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22, 1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3rd of the Roman Calendar. Charles is the Patron of the African Youth of Catholic Action.

– Source: iBreviary